by | Jun 1, 1999 | Persecution


Zhemin married his sweetheart at the age of twenty, and two years later she was pregnant. He was a teacher in school but made a strong profession of faith, which made him a target of the authorities. One day he read Luke 14:26, where Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple.”

Zhemin recalls, “I was so frightened of this verse. I knew what God was asking me right away. He was saying I may have to give up my wife and child if I was to follow Him. But I prayed and prayed, resisting this, and pleading with God that my witness for Him would not separate me from my wife and our unborn child.”

Two days before the birth of his son, Zhemin was arrested. At his trial he looked in vain for his wife and his new child, but they never came. He was sentenced to prison camp for twelve years and sent far away to the north. Then after six years he was moved to the south, quite close to home.

During this time he had no letters from his wife and assumed they were not delivered. One day, after moving back to his home province, he received a letter from her that she would make a visit. “I was delirious with happiness, and I knew I would see my son for the first time.”

The day came, and his wife and child arrived. To his horror, his boy said to him. “Hello, Uncle.” He turned to his beloved wife, only to see a hard set to her features. And she said, “Well, you wouldn’t want me telling him he had a father in jail, would you?” When his wife rose to go, she gave him a document. “This is a copy of my divorce petition. We will be divorced in three weeks I am sure.”

Zhemin recalls, “I grabbed her by the hand and asked her, `Why?’ She said to me, `I don’t love you because you put God before me. I’m in a relationship with a man who will love me and never leave me defenseless.”‘

Zhemin cried all night and for days afterward. Then the paperwork came through. The divorce was finalized. He never saw her again.

Open Doors, Brother Andrew with John & Elizabeth Sherrill, The Narrow Road, Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 2001, p. 212.